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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, February 7th (All times Eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (29-23-5) at San Jose Sharks (36-16-6), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to complete their pre-Olympic schedule on a positive note when they visit the San Jose Sharks for Friday's clash at SAP Center.

Columbus has been red-hot since the beginning of January, going 12-4-1 since the calendar flipped to 2014. The Blue Jackets, however, had a three-game winning streak halted their last time out, as they dropped Thursday's 2-1 overtime decision in Los Angeles.

The Blue Jackets scored their only goal just 1:40 into the first period on Thursday. Los Angeles evened the score early in the third period on a goal from Jake Muzzin and Robyn Regehr tallied 2:33 into OT to help the Kings halt a four-game losing streak.

"I think they played really hard. There wasn't a lot of space out there," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "I think they checked well I thought we checked well. It was an intense physical game and we knew that coming in and I thought we were going to get tested here in this building and I'm real happy with the way the guys came out and played the game."

Friday's contest marks the third stop on a four-game swing. The final portion of the trip won't be played until the Blue Jackets visit New Jersey on Feb. 27, when the NHL returns from its break for this year's Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Columbus, which are 13-12-3 as the guest this season, enters Friday tied with Ottawa for the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference and both clubs are just one point in back of Detroit for the East's eighth and final playoff spot. Both the Senators and Red Wings are off on Friday before closing their pre- Olympic schedules on Saturday,

The Blue Jackets also could qualify for the postseason by finishing in the top-three in the Metropolitan Division. Columbus is currently one point behind the third-place Philadelphia Flyers, who are off on Friday before hosting Calgary on Saturday afternoon.

Columbus has fared well against the Sharks recently and hopes to continue that trend in the first of two meetings between the clubs in 2013-14. After sweeping the three-game series last season, the Blue Jackets have won four in a row and six of the past 10 meetings overall.

San Jose, however, has taken 13 of the last 15 encounters at the Shark Tank.

After ending January on an 0-3-0 slide, the Sharks have won two of three to begin the new month. San Jose hopes to get three wins during its four-game homestand when it plays its final test before the Olympics tonight.

The Sharks opened February with a 2-1 shootout win over Chicago on Saturday, but then dropped a 5-2 decision to Philadelphia on Monday to fall to 1-1 on its homestand.

San Jose, which is running second to Anaheim in the Pacific Division, was able to rebound on Wednesday by recording a 2-1 overtime victory against Dallas. Tommy Wingels scored 1:52 into overtime to lift the Sharks to victory and award them the extra point.

Marty Havlat had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who improved to 21-4-3 at home this season. Alex Stalock stopped 19-of-20 shots.

"I thought we played much better both zones," Havlat said.

Havlat set up the game-winner in overtime. He made a nice backhand pass from the side of the net to Wingels, who banged it in for his 11th goal of the season.

San Jose forward Matt Nieto suffered a bruised foot after blocking a shot in the second period and did not return. Nieto, who has six goals and nine assists in 46 games as a rookie, is questionable for Friday's game.

In other news for the Sharks, Todd McLellan will set a franchise record this evening by coaching his 435th career game behind the San Jose bench. Current Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter held the previous record of 434 games. McLellan is already the club's all-time leader in wins with 256.

02/07 10:52:57 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
4th
PHI 85
CHA 106
 
4th
PHI 85
CHA 106
 
4th
ORL 94
UTA 100
 
3rd
CLE 72
BRK 69
 
4th
BOS 90
MIN 83
 
4th
DET 70
TOR 81
 
3rd
MIA 77
WAS 74
 
Half
MEM 43
CHI 51
 
Half
SAN 46
POR 44
 
1st
DEN 10
LAC 8
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
Final
YOUNG 92
WILB 71
 
Final
TULA 56
JST 49
 
Final
RAD 76
SIENA 66
 
Final
BUCK 88
CASEWEST 65
 
Final
LIB 94
CPNC 65
 
Final
SCAR 68
CLEM 45
 
Final
CMICH 97
CONC 60
 
Final
MIAMI 44
EKENT 72
 
Final
GWEBB 91
HIWASSEE 71
 
Final
ODU 60
MDES 43
 
Final
BUF 88
NIAG 62
 
Final
KSU 71
NCAT 57
 
Final
FAM 65
UNF 83
 
Final
NORST 81
NARZ 62
 
Final
DART 58
NILL 55
 
Final
MORE 60
NKENTUCKY 83
 
Final
UCSB 69
SDCHR 46
 
Final
STJ 53
GAELS 47
 
Final
ALA 69
STILL 49
 
Final
HAMP 66
TENST 54
 
Final
TENN 61
TENT 58
 
Final
WMARY 86
WSHMD 46
 
2nd
MERC 64
COOK 44
 
2nd
FLGC 71
FUR 59
 
Final
CALST 49
SDKST 53
 
2nd
MTST 39
CHAT 31
 
2nd
NDAK 45
DICKINSON 25
 
2nd
LAMON 48
LSUALEX 44
 
2nd
PRIN 60
LIP 44
 
2nd
LAM 55
MLGN 31
 
2nd
MINN 43
SEAT 21
 
2nd
LOYC 50
SUTAH 34
 
2nd
SELA 60
WINT 47
 
2nd
SILL 36
NO 27
 
1st
MARQ 14
ALAAM 7
 
1st
TTU 8
ARKPB 6
 
1st
DEN 16
COLST 16
 
1st
CREI 12
TXPA 5
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
3rd
NJD 2
TAM 1
 
2nd Intermission
OTT 4
ANA 1
 
2nd Intermission
DET 1
NYI 2
 
2nd
WIN 1
BOS 1
 
1st
CAL 0
DAL 0